Topic: Mormons

Mountain Meadow Remains Buried

In the spring of 1859 a company of dragoons and two companies of infantry, under Captain K. P. Campbell, passed through the Meadows and buried the remains. Theirs was the last view of the Lord’s work. Dr. Charles Brewer, in charge of the burying party, reported; “At the scene of the first attack, in the immediate vicinity of our present camp, marked by a small defensive trench made by the emigrants, a number of human skulls, and bones and hair, were found scattered about, bearing the appearance of never having been buried; also remnants of bedding and wearing apparel. On examining the trenches, which appear to have been within the corral, and within which it was supposed some written account of the massacre might have been concealed, some few human bones, human hair, and what seemed to be the feathers of bedding, only were discerned. Proceeding 2500 yards in a direction N. 15° W., I reached a ravine fifty yards distant from the road, bordered by a few bushes of scrub oak, in which I found portions of the skeletons of many bodies – skulls, bones, and matted hair – most of which, on examination, I concluded to be those of men. 350 yards farther on, and in the same direction, another assembly of human remains were found, which, by all appearance, had been left to decay upon the...

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Mormons Passed in Preparation for War

During the long summer days that the Mormons passed in preparation for war, an emigrant train, known on the road as Captain Fancher’s train, was passing through Utah. It reached Salt Lake City in August, and took the “southern route ” which led through Provo, Nephi, Fillmore, Beaver, and Cedar City, and at the last named place joined the Spanish trail from Los Angeles to New Mexico, which ran thence southwest to the coast of California. These emigrants numbered originally fifty-six men and sixty-two women and children, most of them being from Carroll, Johnson, Marion, and other northern counties of Arkansas. At Salt Lake City they were joined by several disaffected Mormons. They had thirty good wagons, about thirty mules and horses, and six hundred cattle. Dr. Brewer, of the army, who met them on the Platte, in June, said it was ” probably the finest train that had ever crossed the plains. There seemed to be about forty heads of families, many women, some unmarried, and many children. They had three carriages, one very tine, in which ladies rode. Slowly this long line wound its way up the Jordan, around the sedgy border of Utah Lake, through Juab Valley, and down the long, dreary stretch of road from the Sevier to Little Salt Lake. At Beaver they were joined by a Missourian, who had been held in custody...

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Mountain Meadows Massacre

During these years whose happenings we have been recording, there has been a community existing in the centre of our region that we have barely noticed. Their history, at any period, is a subject which a conscientious writer approaches unwillingly, for it involves a certain consideration of the merits of Mormonism and the Mormons, and that means wholesale denunciation, almost always of the Mormons, and very frequently of their enemies. Sweeping accusations must be made, and these, he knows, weaken alike the testimony of a witness, the plea of an orator, and the statement of an author. It is repugnant to man to believe that the majority of mankind are evil, and it is contrary to ordinary experience that any large class or sect of men should be radically bad. Besides this, all candid men will admit that the Mormons have at times been treated badly; that the killing of Joseph Smith, their prophet, was one of the most disgraceful murders ever known in this country; and that they were driven from their homes in Missouri and Illinois under circumstances of cruel severity. But candid men must also admit that past suffering is no excuse for continuing crime, and, leaving out of consideration all of their offenses that preceded or followed it, it has not fallen, nor shall fall, to the lot of any man to record a more...

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The Mormon Question

The fifteenth legislative assembly of Idaho convened December lo, 1878, when the people were excited over Mormonism more than in regard to all other things together. In all contested elections the Mormon candidates were excluded, and even an undue prejudice was bitterly exhibited against them. Congress was memorialized to refuse Utah admission into the Union, and also to require of homestead and preemption settlers an oath giving a statement of their polygamous practices. Already the local law required superintendents of schools to sub-scribe to an affidavit that they were neither bigamists nor polygamists, but at this session it was so altered that in case the person challenged were a woman the objectionable terms should not be included in the oath! At this session, also, was created the county of Elmore from the western portion of Alturas county, and Logan and Custer counties were formed. In the case of Elmore county, after much display of parliamentary tactics, the bill was passed, although the speaker became so excited that he bolted and left the chair abruptly during the reading of the journal on the last day of the session. The president of the council also left his chair on the last day of the session, in order to obstruct the passage of a measure obnoxious to him. In neither case was the action successful, as the house immediately elected George P....

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Idaho Since 1890, Political

Late in June 1891, the state supreme court rendered a decision pronouncing the act of 1891, purporting to create the counties of Alta and Lincoln out of the counties of Alta and Logan, to be unconstitutional, on the ground that the state constitution forbids the division of a county and the attachment of a part thereof to another county without a vote of the people in the portion to be separated. State Attorney General Roberts returned the following opinion to the state superintendent of public instruction: Women possessing the constitutional and statutory qualifications can vote at all school elections; but to vote upon the proposition as to whether a special tax shall be levied women must possess, with male suffragists, the additional qualification of being “an actual resident free-holder or head of a family.” On May 5, 1892, the Republicans held a state convention at Pocatello, and a nominating convention in August following, at which they advocated the free and unlimited coinage of silver, the creation of a federal department of mines and mining at Washington, protection of labor and capital, prompt action in allotting lands in the Nez Perce Indian reservation, certain amendments to the immigration laws, and holding the Democrats responsible for the crippling of western industries. For the state ticket they nominated, in August, W. J. McConnell for governor, Frank B. Willis for lieutenant governor, James...

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Idaho

The following record is contributed by one who stands high in the councils of the church and in the civic affairs of the state, and the article merits a place in this history, as representing an element which has a distinct place in the annals of Idaho and which is contributing to her welfare and stable prosperity: The remarkable journey of the Mormon people from the borders of civilization to the wilds of the western wilderness, in 1847, is now a matter of history. The pioneer camp of that exodus comprised one hundred and forty-three souls, and was led by Brigham Young, the president of the church, and afterward governor of Utah. This advance colony reached Salt Lake City on the 24th day of July 1847. Almost immediately after planting crops sufficient for bread-stuff for these colonizers, Brigham Young fitted out several companies, under the supervision of men of indomitable courage, to explore the contiguous territory, in order to provide for the establishment of the immense immigration of the main body of the church, which, in the few years following, found its way to Utah. One of these companies went south to Provo valley, and another went to Davis County, on the north, settling what are now known as Kaysville and Centerville. Soon after this another colony settled in Ogden valley, and this was followed by the settlement of...

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Bear Lake County

Bear Lake County is the smallest in Idaho, yet one of the richest, and one of the very few counties comparatively free from public indebtedness. The natural wealth of the little domain is about as happily diversified as its residents could wish. It has mountains on either side rich in minerals, timber and building stone, which have recently been developed to a greater extent than during all the years of its settlement. The county was settled by Mormons in the year 1863, and for a number of years afterward their residence continued under circumstances of the most forbidding and discouraging nature. The county is perhaps the highest altitude that is cultivated successfully in the world, the altitude being about six thousand feet, and the early settlers, being unaccustomed to the frosts and the storms of these high altitudes and the different methods of raising crops by irrigation, were for several years compelled to haul their flour and other necessaries over the rugged mountains from Cache valley, Utah, a distance of seventy-five miles, the roads being mere trails, rocky, sidling, and without bridges over the wild, swift mountain streams. To settle such a county, none but the strongest and most determined could accomplish; so bleak and sterile was the country that the shade and fruit trees first planted refused to grow. All this is changed by the labor and perseverance...

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Letters of President Pierce to Colonel Steptoe

President Pierce appointed Colonel Steptoe as governor to succeed Brigham Young and his appointment was duly confirmed by the Senate. Owing to the peculiar conditions existing in Utah, the governorship of that territory was considered one of the most important appointments in the hands of the President, yet the appointment of Colonel Steptoe received the highest commendation from the press and the people generally who were familiar with the requirements of the office. Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page 1 Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page 2 Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page...

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